Tag Archives: parenting

My Stress Reducing Techniques for Life With 3 Kids

reducing stress - life with 3 kids
This post includes review of a service I received for free in exchange for my personal honest feedback.

Life with 3 Kids

life with 3 kids reducing stress

It’s been awhile since I had a new post, but life with 3 kids is no joke! And I’ve been quite busy caring for and admiring my new baby boy! Seriously, isn’t he the cutest?!

Having a newborn is quite enough work, but having two other kids makes coping with the responsibility and workload a bit harder. However, I’ve found life with 3 kids much less stressful than I was told it would be. That must, therefore, make me an expert on the subject. Haha! I’m totally kidding. But, maybe I’ve hit on a few things that could help ease your family’s transition as well!

Here’s what has helped reduce stress in our household!

First of all…Being selfish. Yep, that’s what I said. All postpartum women are a little whack…we can’t help it. Hormones start to take a nosedive when the placenta is delivered. I recognized that and hogged my newborn baby for 3 full days, asked hubby to bring me every meal, and left our other kids completely in his care. It was such a relief to give myself the time and space I needed to recover without feeling guilty about it!! And it will probably never happen again unless I have another baby. Enjoy it while you can, mama!

Soaking in every moment. Some days I grumble because the baby insists on being carried all day, or wakes up yet again at night. But for the most part, I’m basking in the moments instead of dwelling on my to-do list. It reduces more stress than you could imagine!

I’m relaxing (now and then!). There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to some luxurious down time. Baby will be fine! Get away for coffee with friends and when you get home, your kids and hubby will be cuter than ever. 😉 I promise! You have to take care of the entire family, and that includes yourself!

Sometimes, I take a shower! (Gasp!) Even if it’s only 5 minutes and baby has to cry…You can’t look like a greasy mess and smell of spoiled milk all the time. What’s more depressing and stressful than that??

I’m accepting help from friends. Perhaps occasionally begging for it, haha! 😉 There’s no shame when you have a newborn.

I’m not afraid to flake. I recently had plans to go out with a friend. But the closer it got to girls night, the more I couldn’t fathom getting dressed up and being social. (It had been a rough day with the baby!) But I hated to cancel, and still wanted to see my friend. So I asked if she minded just hanging out at the house in exchange for some homemade cookies. She cuddled my baby while I had my baking therapy and then we ate warm, delicious cookies! It was a win-win situation for both of us! I needed time to breathe before I could be social. If you can’t handle something, be honest.

Prioritizing helps de-stress my days. Baby, older kids, and scavenging for food are my top priority right now! Accomplishing my main goals makes me feel less guilty for the things I didn’t get to.

Cutting back on laundry. I’m re-wearing any clothes that make it to the end of a day with no spit up, and making my kids do the same if at all possible. Because every little bit helps!

I admit I can’t do it all. I’m somewhat distraught by all the disorganization and how long it has been since I cleaned our bathroom. But it comes with the territory.

However, I do my best. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in 10 minutes!

I resist feeling discouraged. As long as I’ve done my best for the day and my kids know they’re loved, that’s a worthy enough accomplishment.

Avoiding overcommitment is key! I am minimizing as many unnecessary/stressful activities as possible. It is difficult enough considering how I will ever get the house clean or food on the table. I focus on simply getting by! Remember to stop and smell the roses…or your baby. 🙂

Also, we’ve been relying on freezer meals! It was a huge sacrifice of time and effort while I was pregnant and experiencing sciatic nerve pain, but freezer meals are so worth it postpartum!! Having that extra free time to love on my little guy once he arrived was absolutely precious.

I’m making easy meals when I do cook. Now is not the time to start making all your bread from scratch. Now is the time you get food on the table as quickly as possible, regardless how healthy it is. No vegetable? No problem. We’ll make it up another day. And, FYI, Costco has yummy, fresh, ready made meals!

BUT. I also tried a meal delivery service! Thanks to Sunbasket, my family received two healthy, organic meals with humanely raised, antibiotic and hormone-free meat (one meal had organic tofu instead). My meal ingredients arrived in one carefully packed, insulated box with recyclable packaging!

meal delivery service
The box arrived with all ingredients necessary for two quick, healthy meals!
meal service - life with 3 kids
Look at those fresh ingredients! I was so impressed with the quality of the vegetables!
Life with 3 kids - cooking
See how happy I am to be cooking an exciting new recipe?!?

In only about 30 minutes, exactly as the Sunbasket site claims, we had a healthy, nutritionist approved meal on the table. Portions were generous; we even had leftovers! Our meals supposedly served 2 adults and 2 kids, but we didn’t want to share, haha! My husband and I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day – and it definitely didn’t seem like a child sized portion.

Life with 3 kids - Sunbasket meal delivery
This was our first meal, and it was amazing. It said FRESH noodles on the package, and by golly, they were! Soft, fresh, delicious noodles!
Sunbasket meal delivery service
Having everything premeasured cut the prep time considerably. It was SUCH a treat for a postpartum mama like me. I love to cook healthy meals, but am struggling to find the time!
Sunbasket meal service
The steak stir-fry bowl was so gorgeous, bright, and colorful! I did add a little extra sauce, but loved all the fresh veg in this stir fry!

I LOVED my meal delivery service and am itching to do it again already! It was so fun creating new recipes with unique ingredients that may be hard to find at the grocery store!

Sunbasket gave me a unique discount code to share with my readers! Use this link : http://bit.ly/2r1ABZU and receive 50% off of your first Sun Basket order! 

One last note about coping with those newborn days…Don’t forget about the joy your older children bring to the family. Of course baby is brand new, and everyone will be starstruck. But avoiding jealous siblings is a huge part of reducing stress when adding to your family!  I’m working on a post about helping your older children bond with your new baby, so stay tuned for that! You can follow my Facebook page to see new posts!

Thank you for reading and good luck with your sweet new baby!

 

 

 

 

How to Survive the Picky Eater Battle with No Tears!

Winning the picky eater battle with no tears on either side!

The Great Picky Eater Food Battle is not for the faint of heart.

Winning the picky eater battle with no tears on either side!

Lately, my two year old refuses to eat pretty much everything. Unless it is peanut butter, cheese, yogurt or her favorite fruits. She also likes ham, so regardless of what kind of meat I’m serving, I exclaim, “Eat! You like this; it’s ham!”. Sometimes, it even works! 😉

My picky eater refuses foods that aren’t aesthetically pleasing….

She turns up her nose at unfamiliar foods (unless they’re highly processed and full of artificial flavors)….

My toddler has even looked at her dinner plate and remarked, “Bleh!”. How rude! …

No matter how much I bribe her, or threaten time-outs, she Will. Not. Eat. She clenches her lips together, covers her mouth with her hand, and turns as far away from me as possible. And I know I have no course of action that doesn’t include handcuffs, straps, and pliers.

So what to do? I am a strict mom, but even I don’t believe in prying my daughter’s mouth open to shove food in it. 😉

Everyone says, “They’ll eat when they’re hungry!”. But what parent can stand there and watch their child starve nutritionally? While their child simultaneously grows unbearably crabby because, like their mama, they get HANGRY when they don’t eat.

Today, I am going to share what is helping us through this challenging time!

My mealtime tips for  dealing with a picky eater –

  • Serve several foods your child WILL EAT and one new food.
  • Serve small portions to avoid waste, frustration, or child getting overwhelmed at the sight of new food.
  • Encourage your child to try at least one bite.
  • Promise they don’t have to finish new food, or even swallow it. (My kids are big fans of spitting yucky foods in the trash after holding it their mouth for eons.)
  • If child still refuses to try even one bite, threaten to take away a privilege. For us, that’s tv time, which we often allow after dinner and before bed.
  • Follow through. No bite, no privilege.
  • Don’t get mad. Stay calm. Act like it’s no biggie if your kid is iron deficient because she refuses to eat her spinach.
  • Put cheese on it! My kids favorite food group – everything looks and tastes better with cheese!
  • Serve new foods at lunch, and familiar favorites at dinner. Your kids will have a full belly for bedtime and sleep soundly.
  • If kids don’t eat much of their lunch, don’t give them a snack. Or give them a small, but healthy snack to tide them over. NO TREATS! Go ahead, break out your secret stash of chocolate and eat it right in front of them. You deserve it for preparing food they didn’t want and washing a plate they wouldn’t eat off.
  • Keep trying!My mealtime tips for a picky eater

Our greatest success recently has been simply getting the food into my 2.5 year old daughter’s mouth. Whether or not she likes it, or will even swallow the food, at least she is opening her mouth! We accomplished this mainly by threatening a consequence (revoking tv privileges after dinner) and promising she can spit the offensive food in the trash if she so desires.

I trust that in time, her delicate palate will broaden itself from the repeated exposure to new flavors and textures. And if it doesn’t well…there’s always those sneaky veg recipes on Pinterest.

‘Fess Up Time: Parenting Fails and Newborn Tales

Parenting Fails and Newborn Tales

Parenting Fails – we’ve all been there, done that!

Parenting Fails and Newborn Tales

My general theory is that whether you make huge mistakes or simple parenting fails, your kid can still turn out either good or bad. Many successful people have emerged from a terrible home life. And sometimes kids from good, strong families lose their way. The Bible promises that if you train up a child in the way he should go, in the end he will not depart from it. So just do your best, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

With that being said, however….parenting fails can still make us feel like idiots! I’ll never forget the time I took my newborn first child to the pool in her adorable two piece baby bikini and shades. I laid her on a lounge chair on top of a beach towel and started snapping away with my camera. She was three months old and cute as a bug. I was beside myself with motherly pride and adoration, when all of a sudden she rolled off the lounge and onto the concrete! Luckily, the chair was very low to the ground and she was not injured, but I was so ashamed of myself for being stupid enough to let something like that happen. I didn’t tell anyone (besides hubby) for almost two years because I was so embarrassed!

Beach Babe - Don't Call Me Supermom
An adorable photo from the fateful day!

I also forgot the diaper bag the first time we ever took our newborn daughter to church, when she was a week old. Now that I’m a “seasoned” parent of four years, I realize that these things happen to everyone. We all experience parenting fails, and that doesn’t make us bad at what we do! In fact, it’s the guilt we feel afterwards that makes us good parents!

If you’re having a rough day, check out these stories and realize you’re not alone when you feel helpless, inadequate, or just plain stupid. We’re all in this together! 🙂

Jen from Heaven Not Harvard: One time in the Wal-mart parking lot, I was so busy making sure my daughter’s car seat was in correctly and tightly secured that she started to roll away in the shopping cart into the traffic flow! 😱😳 Luckily, there were no cars and I grabbed her in seconds. My husband was just coming out from buying something he’d forgotten when he saw my eyeballs about jump out of my skull and my legs road runner spiral into action.

Aditi from Silver Linings – My parents, hubby dearest, and two month old baby came home after an evening spent roaming around the shopping mall. We had just started getting ready for bed when the crying began. Desperate, never ending and extremely loud to four adults who were new to being around an infant. We tried everything, feeding, bathing, more clothes, less clothes, gripe water, steam etc. Panic had just started to seep in, when for some reason my brilliant husband got our industrial fan, switched it to low and put it bang in front of the little one lying in the bouncer. And lo and behold, the crying stopped. My hubby quipped, “He just needed to feel like the star of a Bollywood movie with the wind blowing his hair in the scene where he’s introduced.”

Bärbel from Simple Summit – My daughter was 5 days old when we went to the pediatrician’s office for her first check-up. When the nurse called her name, my husband and I just kept sitting in the waiting room. She called it again – this time, the full name and we both got up, embarrassed. “We are new at this, can you tell?”, was our excuse. 🙂
We have also left the diaper bag at home before, or ended up staying out longer than anticipated so I ran out of diapers. I shook out the poopie in her diapers so I could reuse them again. So embarrassing!

Crystal from Love More Live Blessed – I had my pack-n-play up way before I had my son. I would throw diapers in there until I could put them away. I know, I know, so lazy. Anyway, one day I threw a package of diapers across the room into the pack-n-play. A second later, I realized my newborn was in there too! Ahh!! He was fine, the diapers didn’t hit him – but I sure felt guilty.

Nikki from Healing Mama Remedies – I was nursing my son while looking on my phone, then I dropped my phone on his head! I felt horrible!

Ashli from The Million Dollar Mama – I thought squeaking the dog’s toy in front of my 8 week old might make him laugh – it terrified the crap out of him!

Hannah from Sunshine And Spoons – On my oldest daughter’s first Sunday in church, I took her downstairs to feed her a bottle and forgot to burp her. When we came back upstairs and sat down in our pew, she threw up her entire bottle all over my dress.

With my 3rd child, I forgot to bring any diapers to church and she uncharacteristically had TWO really messy diapers. The first time it happened, I begged a too-small diaper from my sister in law. The second time, I was too embarrassed to ask again. Church was almost over so when it finished, I put a rag in her carseat so she wouldn’t leak all over it and took my smelly, oozing child home to change! I left diapers in the church nursery after that.

When my 4th and youngest baby was just 3 months old, I took him to a Sunday School picnic. I thought I did a good job keeping him out of the sun. However, I let someone else hold him for a while and she forgot to do the same. He had THE worst sunburn on his forehead and nose that I’ve ever seen. Note to self: Always bring a hat for the baby!

 As always, thanks for reading! And remember, if you’re a parent, or parent-to-be, take it easy on yourself. We all make mistakes from time to time, but it will all be okay in the end!

Proverbs 22:6

Being a mother means…

Being a Mother Means...

My observations on what being a mother means…

Being a Mother Means...

Being a mother means….

You forget what personal space is.

You eat cookies in the closet because you don’t want to share.

Sometimes the most unattainable dream is simply having 5 minutes of pure, blessed silence.

And if you ever get those 5 minutes of silence, you’ll rue them when you see what havoc the kids have wreaked in your absence .

You just might discover that you know every word to the most popular Disney songs….and you love belting them out!

The days of listening to grownup music are fading fast…because you either don’t want to explain the adult lyrics, or the demands for Disney songs (see above) are too overpowering.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Literally. Read your talkative four year old a book and you’ll find you can barely get past the first illustration…”What’s that? What’s he doing? Why is she wearing that? Where are they going? Is that a boy or a girl? Why are they carrying a backpack?”….

Dinner is quite possibly the most stressful time of your day – from making it, to eating it, and to cleaning up the mess afterwards.

You forget what your living room floor looks like.

You wear the same clothes until they get snot or poop on them to cut down on laundry.

Shopping becomes an Olympic Sport, involving intensive training (be quiet, don’t touch, stay with me, etc.), hard work, sweat, tears, and moving as rapidly as you can to get down the aisle and out of the darn store.

Before kids, you were young and carefree. Now you’re old and curmudgeonly, and your favorite word is, “No.”

Being a mother also means….

You don’t sleep in any more, even on weekends, but oh those early morning snuggles!

So many kisses and hugs. So. Many.

As frustrating as the plethora of toys in your house are….you can’t resist buying new ones you’re certain your kids will love and cherish forever (or at least a day or two).

Any time you need an excuse to stay home, you’ve got it, baby! Same goes for anytime you need an excuse to get OUT.

You’ll take personally the compliments directed at your little one…What an adorable little girl? Why thank you, I’m her personal stylist!

You’ll gain the utmost joy and pride in another person’s accomplishments…rolling over, taking steps, and peeing in the potty never seemed so miraculous and brilliant until now.

You’ll become a pro at terrorizing young children that are mean to your kids. Don’t worry about it; they have it coming to them.

Both rational and irrational fears will abound. No matter how rational you were before you had kids.

You may begin to wonder if you have an undiagnosed anxiety disorder. Or need anger management classes.

Your constant companions are surefire conversation starters. Great for making new friends!

For the next few years, you will live with the cutest little comedians you ever did see. Daily shows, free admission, just sweat and tears to get in!

You will hear the words, “I ‘lub’ you so much” and know that it is the truest, sweetest, purest form of love ever bestowed upon any human.

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